This SBIR/STTR topics document is issued in advance of the FY 2018 DOE SBIR/STTR

Phase I Release 1
Funding Opportunity Announcement scheduled to be issued in on August 14, 2017. The purpose of the early release of the topics is to allow applicants an opportunity to identify technology areas of interest and to begin formulating innovative responses and partnerships.

Applicants new to the DOE SBIR/STTR programs
are encouraged to attend upcoming topic and Funding Opportunity Announcement webinars. Dates for these webinars are listed on our website: https://science.energy.gov/sbir/funding-opportunities/. Topics may be modified in the future. Applicants are encouraged to check for future updates to this document, particularly when the Funding Opportunity Announcement is issued. Any changes to topics will be listed at the beginning of this document.

General introductory information about the DOE SBIR/STTR programs can be found online here:
http://www.doesbirlearning.com/. Please check out the tutorials–a series of short videos designed to get you up to speed quickly.

COMMERCIALIZATION
Federal statutes governing the SBIR/STTR programs require federal agencies to evaluate the commercial potential of innovations proposed by small business applicants. To address this requirement, the DOE SBIR/STTR programs require applicants to submit commercialization plans as part of their Phase I and II applications. DOE understands that commercialization plans will evolve, sometimes significantly, during the course of the research and development, but investing time in commercialization planning demonstrates a commitment to meeting objectives of the SBIR/STTR programs.

During Phase I and II awards, DOE provides
small businesses with commercialization assistance through a DOE-funded contractor.
The responsibility for commercialization lies with the small business. DOE’s SBIR/STTR topics are drafted by DOE program managers seeking to advance the DOE mission. Therefore, while topics may define important scientific and technical challenges, we look to our small business applicants to define how they will bring commercially viable products or services to market. In cases where applicants are able identify a viable technical solution, but unable to identify a successful commercialization strategy, we recommend that
they do not submit an SBIR/STTR application.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OPPORTUNITIES
Selected topic and subtopics contained in this document are designated as Technology Transfer Opportunities (TTOs). The questions and answers below will assist you in understanding how TTO topics and subtopics differ from our regular topics.

What is a Technology Transfer Opportunity?
A Technology Transfer Opportunity (TTO) is an opportunity to leverage technology that has been developed at a university or DOE National Laboratory. Each TTO will be described in a particular subtopic and additional information may be obtained by using the link in the subtopic to the university or National Lab that has developed the technology. Typically the technology was developed with DOE funding of either basic or applied research and is available for transfer to the private sector. The level of technology maturity will
9 vary and applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate university or Laboratory prior to submitting an application.

How would I draft an appropriate project description for a TTO?
For Phase I, you would write a project plan that describes the research or development that you would perform to establish the feasibility of the TTO for a commercial application. The major difference from a regular subtopic is that you will be able to leverage the prior R&D carried out by the university or National Lab and your project plan should reflect this.
Am I required to show I have a subaward with the university or National Lab that developed the TTO inmy grant application?

No. Your project plan should reflect the most fruitful path forward for developing the technology. In some cases, leveraging expertise or facilities of a university or National Lab via a subaward may help to accelerate the research or development effort. In those cases, the small business may wish to negotiate with the university or National Lab to become a subawardee on the application.

How will applying for an SBIR or STTR grant associated with a TTO benefit me?
By leveraging prior research and patents from a National Lab you will have a significant “head start” on bringing a new technology to market. To make greatest use of this advantage it will help for you to have prior knowledge of the application or market for the TTO.